Lindbergh: Flight's Enigmatic Hero

Lindbergh: Flight's Enigmatic Hero

by Von Hardesty
     
 

Charles A. Lindbergh astounded the world on May 21, 1927, with his successful solo flight from New York to Paris in The Spirit of St. Louis. Upon his return to the United States, he received an unprecedented welcome and was regarded as a hero to a generation of Americans who looked to the skies as a field of promise and progress. Lindbergh has been the

Overview


Charles A. Lindbergh astounded the world on May 21, 1927, with his successful solo flight from New York to Paris in The Spirit of St. Louis. Upon his return to the United States, he received an unprecedented welcome and was regarded as a hero to a generation of Americans who looked to the skies as a field of promise and progress. Lindbergh has been the subject of scrutiny and controversy ever since.
Reflecting America's faith in technological advancement, Lindbergh saw The Spirit of St. Louis as "a lens focused on the future, a forerunner of mechanisms that would conquer time and space." This youthful optimism was later tempered by personal tragedy-the kidnapping and murder of his first-born son-and by the threat of American involvement in a war abroad. But Lindbergh confronted these challenges, often at odds with his supporters, with the same daring and boldness of character that inspired him to undertake his fabled flight.
In Lindbergh: Flight's Enigmatic Hero, Von Hardesty, curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, takes another look at Lindbergh's life and offers new insights into the man and the myths that surrounded him. Drawing from a variety of sources, he reveals how Lindbergh, though stubborn and absolutist in many ways, evolved in his outlook and world view. With hundreds of full-color images and illustrations taken from a rich variety of private and public collections, Hardesty has produced a visually stunning and fascinating biography of one of the most important figures of the twentieth century.

Published in Conjunction with the 75th Anniversary of Lindbergh's Historic Transatlantic Flight

More than 250 photographs, illustrations, and maps
Never-before-published images and artifacts from Lindbergh archives and private collections
Eight-page gatefold illustration
Detailed map of Lindbergh's fabled flight
Illustrated timelines from Lindbergh's life

"Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it, but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance." -Charles A. Lindbergh

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it, but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance." -Charles A. Lindbergh
Publishers Weekly
Lindbergh became one of the first media age celebrities after his 1927 transatlantic flight. This surprisingly thorough account of his life, packed into a concise illustrated volume, emphasizes the harrowing media scrutiny of the aviator. Hardesty, a curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, quotes Lindbergh's own writings and those of his associates to piece together a straightforward, lively biography: Michigan childhood and barnstorming days in the 1920s, the history-making transatlantic flight, his collaboration with scientist Alexis Carrel to build a prototype for an artificial heart and his widely criticized work in Nazi Germany and agitation for American nonintervention in WWII. Hardesty describes Lindbergh as "a keeper of checklists," an intellectually curious, widely read man whose strong "impulse for control" made the loss of his privacy especially difficult-though he made use of his celebrity to publicly advocate for science funding, environmental conservation and other causes. Photographs, timelines and documents like Lindbergh's flight journal and passport illuminate key subjects: the design of the Spirit of St. Louis; the history of the prominent Morrow family, which Lindbergh married into; Lindbergh's friendship with the Russian aviator and aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky; and, of course, the kidnapping of Lindbergh's son. Published in time for the 75th anniversary of the historic flight, this album is a fine introduction to the aviator's mixed legacy. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
While Dominick A. Pisano and F. Robert Van Der Linden's recently published Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis focused largely on the landmark 1927 flight, the fabled monoplane, and the subsequent media circus surrounding the event, this new book takes a broader look at Lindbergh's life overall. Choosing a balanced approach, Hardesty (who like Pisano and Van Der Linden is a curator at the Smithsonian) examines both the hero flyer's failures and his successes. Grandson Erik Lindbergh provides an introduction, and the book is lavishly illustrated with over 400 photographs and illustrations (including time lines and flight maps). For those who want to come to a deeper understanding of this most enigmatic man, A. Scott Berg's 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Lindbergh, is still the book to read. For many, however, this current title will suffice and makes an excellent introduction to Lindbergh in the centennial year of his birth. Recommended for public libraries generally and academic libraries where appropriate.-Charlie Cowling, SUNY at Brockport Lib.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780151009732
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
11/28/2002
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
10.42(w) x 9.96(h) x 0.82(d)

Meet the Author


Von Hardesty is a curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, where he has worked for two decades in publications and exhibits on aviation history. He is the author of numerous books and articles and is the editor of the Cambridge Centennial of Flight series. Hardesty holds a doctorate in Russian history and has been a visiting fellow at the Russian Academy of Sciences and Oxford University. He lives with his wife and son on a farm near Staunton, Virginia.

Erik Lindbergh will recreate his grandfather's historic Spirit of St. Louis solo flight across the Atantic in May 2002.

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